Lock Your Doors! Here Are the 6 Bloodiest and Most Memorable Kills of the 'Scream' Franchise
Known for being campy, self-aware, and unapologetically bloody, the Scream franchise has delivered audiences inventive, calculated kill scenes since legendary horror director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson spearheaded the series in 1996. Almost 30 years later, Ghostface is still tormenting the residents of Woodsboro, Calif. — though Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's Scream VI sees the masked killer(s) carry out their murders in the Big Apple.
Always donning the signature black hooded robe and white rubber mask reminiscent of Edvard Munch's 1893 painting "The Scream," the Ghostface persona (adopted by several killers across the franchise) is responsible for dozens of homicides.
From deadly garage doors to shocking defibrillators, here are some of the most memorable kills the Scream movies have to offer. We implore you to read this with a mouthful of Jiffy Pop.
Casey Becker in 'Scream' (1996)
Scream's 12-minute opening sequence is easily one of the most iconic scenes in horror movie history. The uber-suspenseful home invasion scene introduces the audience to Drew Barrymore's (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) Casey Becker: A naive high schooler home alone for the evening. What begins as a night laced with Jiffy Pop, flirty anonymous phone calls, and horror movie trivia morphs into a full-blown nightmare as the relentless villain threatens to "gut [Casey] like a fish."
In the end, Ghostface wasn't bluffing. The blonde spitfire's (somewhat misguided) fight for her life ends when she's stabbed in the chest multiple times, only to be hung from a tree with her intestines spilling out of her lifeless body.
After the first jab, viewers witness a voiceless Casey struggle to call out to her distant mother, a moment as brutal as it is frustrating. Though safety was in her line of vision, Casey just wasn't destined to be a Final Girl.
Tatum Riley in 'Scream' (1996)
Being one of the franchise's most creative kills, the garage door slaying of Rose McGowan's (Charmed) Tatum Riley is equally bone-chilling and awesome. The words "garage door slaying" are enough to intrigue even the most seasoned horror fans.
Portrayed as the popular, boy-crazy "bad girl," Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) bestie excuses herself from a party — her first mistake — to grab a handful of beers from the garage — her second mistake. (Don't you know Randy Meeks's (Jamie Kennedy) iconic rules for surviving a horror movie?)
With an armful of bottles, Tatum soon realizes she's — [gasp] — trapped in the garage as the house's connecting door mysteriously locks. When she attempts to flee via the automatic garage door, Ghostface appears.
"Cute. What movie is this from, I Spit on Your Garage?" she quips, thinking one of her pals is playing a prank. Though Tatum sarcastically says she wants to be "in the sequel," it doesn't happen.
She sets out to escape the killer by crawling through the automatic door's tiny cat exit, getting stuck. As a ruthless Ghostface opens the motorized door, Tatum's body lifts. She flails about before the door inevitably crushes her neck.
Not only does she go out being stupid, but she goes out serving a look. R.I.P. to Scream's feminist fashion queen.
Cici Cooper in 'Scream 2' (1997)
Sadly, beloved scream queen Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) doesn't make it out of Scream's second installment alive.
While the rest of the pack attend a mixer at Phi Gamma Alpha, Omega Beta Zeta sister Casey "Cici" Cooper has the sorority house to herself for the evening. Things take a dangerous turn when she receives a call from Ghostface, who pretends to be her "ill-conceived boyfriend," harassing her throughout the night.
As it turns out, the calls are coming from inside the house. Neither campus security nor a swift appearance by sorority sister Dawnie (Marisol Nichols) can save Cici.
With F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu glaring in the background, Cici slinks through the house in a nail-biting cat-and-mouse scene reminiscent of Casey Becker's demise. Soon enough, Ghostface materializes, chasing Cici up the stairs (naturally) and onto the balcony. There, Ghostface stabs the college student twice before flinging her off the platform.
Rachel Barnes in 'Scream 4' (2011)
One of the most likable aspects of the Scream franchise is its ability to poke fun at itself. Wes Craven's Scream 4 hones in on its quirky meta qualities, faking viewers out twice with scenes from the Stab franchise — aka the in-universe film series inspired by the Woodsboro murders.
Though the murder of Rachel Barnes (Anna Paquin) is technically a Stab 7 kill, there's something hilarious about it.
As Rachel and her friend Chloe Patterson (Kristen Bell) watch Stab 6 (yes, a Stab movie within a Stab movie within a Scream movie), the former character complains about its "Facebook killer" being overrated.
"A bunch of articulate teens sit around and deconstruct horror movies until Ghostface kills them one by one? It's been done to death. The whole self-aware, post-modern meta s--t," Rachel says with an eye-roll.
Charmed by the grounded simplicity of the Stab movies, Chloe disagrees. Rachel — still irritated — babbles about the predictability of the franchise, only for Chloe to drive a giant knife into her stomach. Spontaneous enough for you, Rachel? That's what she gets for talking during the movie.
Jill Roberts in 'Scream 4' (2011)
Emma Roberts's (American Horror Story) Jill Roberts is one of the most ruthless Ghostfaces in the franchise. Sidney's jealous cousin strives to become an esteemed Ghostface Final Girl — and she'll do just about anything for the title.
After a vicious hospital battle between Sidney and Jill — who claims seven lives throughout the film — Jill sets her sights on reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). With a gun pointed at Gale, Jill is too distracted to realize Sidney is behind her ... with a defibrillator.
Sidney sandwiches Jill's head between two defibrillator paddles, knocking her to the ground. "You forgot the first rule of remakes, Jill. Don't f--k with the original," Sidney says.
Before the sadistic Ghostface killer can muster up the strength for one last attack, Sidney shoots her dead.
Wes Hicks in 'Scream' (2022)
Over a decade after Scream 4 premiered, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's 2022 entry, simply called Scream, reignited the franchise's relevancy, gifting viewers with fresh kills and lots of blood.
Taking place 25 years after the original Woodsboro slayings, Scream sees a persistent new Ghostface terrorize a new teenage crew in the fictional town. Of Scream's core group of high schoolers is Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette), whose murder unfolds in daylight.
When Wes's mother, Sheriff Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton), leaves the house to pick up a sushi dinner, she tells her son to lock the door behind her. Unfortunately, Ghostface is already in the building.
While driving, Judy gets a disturbing call from "a fan of scary movies and knives" — aka Ghostface. After the killer promises to gut her "baby boy," Judy throws on her emergency lights and rushes home. It doesn't end well for either of them.
Ghostface takes care of Judy outside the house (via multiple stabs to the chest), before putting an end to her unsuspecting son.
Following a hot shower (a scene that tips its hat to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho), Wes wanders around his home, taunting viewers with several the-killer-is-behind-the-door fake-outs.
Ghostface eventually pops out, pinning Wes to the front door and sliding a knife into his neck. Viewers witness the tip of the knife come out the other side of Wes's throat.